A Question For Dr. John Trotter: What Is Your Opinion Of Clayton County’s New Superintendent?
What is there on which to comment? The school board now has what it wanted…a man from California…just as Ericka Davis was insistent in 2005 on going all the way up to Minnesota to bring in Pulliam. Dr. Sam King, Educator of the Year in Georgia (as chosen by fellow superintendents), a known quantity in Clayton County and currently doing a super job by all accounts as superintendent in Forest Park Middle School, and as he actually worked his way up to before Rockdale County realized that he was a “steal” and offered him the supetintendency about five years ago. He is known
Both Dr. Sam King and Dr. Valya Lee would have been better superintendents for Clayton County than Sergeant Edmund Heatley. But, Clayton County has, through the years, been a veritable graveyard for superintendents, and the school board probably did both of these good educators a favor by not selecting them. I cannot remember a single superintendent who ever left the Clayton County School System simply because they wanted to retire. I personally did not know Ed Edmonds, but I knew his nextdoor heighbors and his personal secretary. I am told that the legislature changed the appointed/elected nature of the superintendency, depending on Mr. Edmonds’s popularity at the time. He preceded Mr. Stroud. I have personally known and iteracted with the following Clayton County superintendents: Earnest Stroud, Joe Lovin, Bob Livingston, Joe Hairston, Dan Colwell, Bill Chavis, Barbara Pulliam, Gloria Duncan, and Valya Lee. Mr. Stroud “retired,” but I am
I wish Dr. Heatley the best. Right now, Clayton County is dead last in the cellar on SAT and CRCT scores. The discipline has become atrocious through the years. About Edmund Heatley: I have never met the gentleman nor have I spoken to him on the phone. This, I am sure, is what qaulified him the most in the eyes of some school board members. (I was told by a sitting school board member in 2005 that the school board then was going “all over the country,” trying to find someone whom I did not know.) Dr. Heatley, I will not call upon you — unless your administration violates the law (e.g., refuses to follow the grievance law, OCGA 20-2-289.5 et seq., the duty-free lunch law for, OCGA 20-2-218, etc.). I have bigger eggs to fry.
Clayton County has become, as we say in the MACE Office, the “New Atlanta.” Dr. Heatley, you are encountering the same issues that confronted the old Atlanta, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s. I hope that you will be successful in your endeavors. But, if you simply try to sweep the dsiciplinary problems under the proverbial rug, your stint in Clayton County will probably be somewhat truncated. (c) MACE, September 1, 2009